Thailand’s second Earth observation satellite, THEOS-2, was successfully launched at 8.36am this morning (Monday) from the Guiana space centre in French Guiana in South America, after a launch postponement on Saturday due to technical problem.
Thai Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations, Supamas Isarabhakdi, senior officials from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GITSDA) and representatives from the French government were at the launch site to witness the historic event for Thailand.
Supamas said she was delighted and relieved after the successful launch of the satellite, adding that it will take about 52 minutes after launch to enter its orbit at an altitude of 621 kilometres from Earth.
The ground station in Thailand will test the satellite systems for about three months, before it will start performing its Earth observation activities, she said.
In case of an emergency, such as a devasting natural disaster, during the test period she said that the ground station can instruct the satellite to take and relay images of the disaster.
GITSDA director Dr. Pakorn Apaphant said that, after entering orbit, it will take about six months to adjust THEOS-2 and for the testing of control system, as well as communication with the ground station, to ensure the accuracy and stability of the information.
Information from the satellite can be accessed by all sectors of Thai society for commercial, economic development and other purposes, he said.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin hailed the successful launch of the satellite as a source of pride for Thailand and its people, as he stressed the government’s emphasis on the application of technology and science as tools for national development.